The Criticwire Survey: The Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

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by Matt Singer
December 31, 2012 10:08 AM
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'Before Midnight'
Every week, Criticwire asks film critics a question and brings you their responses in The Criticwire Survey. We also ask each member of the poll to pick the best film currently playing in theaters. The most popular choices can be found at the bottom of the post. But first, this week's question:

Q: What's your most anticipated movie of 2013?

The critics' answers:

Edwin ArnaudinAshvegas:

"'The Great Gatsby.' I'm excited to see what Baz Luhrmann does with 3D, and to forgive him for 'Australia.'"

Raffi Asdourian, The Film Stage:

"'Nymphomaniac.' Lars von Trier doing a porno? 'Nuff said."

Adam BattyHope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second:

"For fear of developing a reputation for being something of a James Gray fanboy I'm going to ignore my immediate thought of 'The Nightingale' and go with Jean-Luc Godard's 'Goodbye to Language.' The French filmmaker reached the landmark age of 80 years old just over 12 months ago, but that doesn't seem to have slowed him down on the experimental front. 'Goodbye to Language' marks Godard's first foray into stereoscopy, with the film shot on a 3D rig that is purportedly homemade, and from a pair of iPhones! As much of the director's later career has seen him help to define the way in which burgeoning mediums are adopted by the masses (see his work with video, or digital editing units) I'm keen to see what he's got up his sleeve with 3D." 

Nicholas BellIONCINEMA:

"'Paradise: Hope' -- the concluding chapter of Ulrich Seidl's incredible trilogy holds the brightest torch for 2013."

William BibbianiCrave Online:

"I hate to admit it, but I love how J.J. Abrams has turned film critics all over the internet into frustrated development executives, needling every single creative decision made about 'Star Trek Into Darkness' and trying to come up with their own creative ways for how the sequel might actually work. And I'm certain that once it actually comes out, the kvetching will only get more heated. We've actually had debates pop up online about whether the completely made up sci-fi fantasy Starship Enterprise can go underwater or not, and whether that betrays the ideals of the show. I'll be laughing until it comes out, and I'll enjoy the mystery, and then who knows? I may actually like the film. I thought the last one was pretty decent. But if we're talking about the film I most want to watch, it's actually John Lee Hancock's 'Saving Mr. Banks,' which -- I'm hoping -- will finally give P.L. Travers her say in how Walt Disney completely screwed up the adaptation of her creation, 'Mary Poppins,' and in the process made one of the most beloved films of all time, dwarfing her original, magical writings. It's a pet peeve of mine, the original 'Mary Poppins' movie, so I'm hoping (probably naively) for the best."

Danny BowesTor.com/Movies By Bowes:

"I have to wait almost the whole year, but December 2013 will see the release of Hindi blockbuster 'Dhoom 3.' A few words of explanation are, I'm sure, necessary: the first 'Dhoom' was kind of a cross between 'The Fast and the Furious' and a buddy cop action comedy, where upright cop Abhishek Bachchan is matched with motormouthed fuck-up criminal Uday Chopra to take down outlaw biker John Abraham, and it was all right; John Abraham was way more interesting than the good guys, which led to the decision to cast an even bigger star as the antihero 'villain' in the second one. Hrithik Roshan played a master of disguise who could steal anything, including the heart of the beauteous Aishwarya Rai (married in real life to Abhishek Bachchan, for reasons that'll make sense in a minute). 'Dhoom 2' beats 95% of American action comedies of the last three decades or so: the action scenes are awesome, it's funny, there are songs, and Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai invent having sexual chemistry on screen. It's ridiculous how gorgeous they both are in it. The movie's practically filmed in Pheremone-Vision. All that tension culminates in a scene where, after things just get unbearable, they -- as is almost never heard of in South Asian cinema -- kiss. Maybe it's just because people never actually kiss in Indian movies, but seriously, it's one hawt kiss. 'Dhoom 2' is awesome. So how do you top that? By getting Aamir Khan, one of The Three Khans, a.k.a. The Biggest Stars In The Whole Sky, as this installment's antihero. And Katrina Kaif, whose luminous beauty is matched with ever-increasing skill as a dramatic (and action) actor. Abhishek and Uday might as well not even be in this one. You all can have your 'Iron Man 3' and whatever. Aamir Khan took parkour lessons for this movie. It's gonna be a blast. You know, because that's what 'dhoom' means in Hindi. Okay, I'll just be over here."

Ian BuckwalterNPR/The Atlantic:

"There are plenty of big titles I'm looking forward to next year, but as of right now, the one I'm most curious about is one of the smallest. I've seen Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's black and white New York love letter, 'Frances Ha,' described as a cross between the French New Wave and early Woody Allen. If Baumbach was looking to make a movie directly and specifically for me, then that's pretty much the formula."

Christopher CampbellDocBlog

"I don’t like to have high expectations for movies that nobody has seen yet (though I do hope 'The World’s End' and 'Anchorman: The Legend Continues' are good), so my most anticipated film is something that has already played festivals and been a topic of interesting discussion: 'The Act of Killing.' I feel a sort of emptiness in my brain just waiting to be filled by it."

Fico CangianoCineXpress:

"There are some films I'm eager to see like 'Iron Man 3,' 'Anchorman: The Legend Continues,' 'Pacific Rim' and 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' etc. But my #1 most anticipated film of 2013 has to be 'Man Of Steel.' Superman, like 'Star Wars,' made up much of my childhood. I can't wait to see a worthy rendition and new take on the most popular superhero of all. I trust Snyder and Nolan will nail this. That last trailer released was great."

Erik ChildresseFilmCritic:

"As I try to remember precisely everything that comes out in 2013, the one film I keep coming back to is 'Anchorman: The Legend Continues.' Really curious to see how McKay & Co. will expand upon this idea into a whole new decade especially since I do not believe they will just phone it in like so many successful comedies that merely try to capitalize on the first. Looking right at you, Todd Phillips."

Marc CiafardiniGoSeeTalk.com:

"Of the staggering amount of sci-fi films set to light up screens in 2013, nothing has me more amped to venture into a dark theater than 'Oblivion.' In his debut film, Joseph Kosinski did wonders with 'TRON: Legacy' (visuals, music, cast) so should he be given a slightly better story than the flat, nonsensical one in 'Legacy,' 'Oblivion' could be astounding. Also I'm a sucker for M83, so that small facet in the production has me pulling for 'Oblivion' just a tad more. To the naysayers, I agree it looks like some high concept mish-mash of 'I Am Legend' and 'WALL-E' (among other titles) but from just the teaser poster/trailer, to me at least, it has enough intriguing hooks, style, and eye candy that it's all but primed to be flat-out awesome. So while 'Star Trek Into Darkness' will likely be the one to beat, and 'Man of Steel' is another front-runner that has the potential to be astounding, as I'm always one to root for the underdog. I can't wait to see how Kosinski fares in his second at-bat."

Jake Cole, Not Just Movies:

"Because I never know when I'll get to see all the festival films I want to see, the movie I currently anticipate is one of 2012's holdovers, Abbas Kiarostami's 'Like Someone in Love.' I haven't read a thing on it and don't know much about it other than it is set in Japan and was made by the world's greatest living filmmaker, which is enough for me. Follow-up answer: 'Drug War,' by the world's other greatest living filmmaker, Johnnie To, along with the other two or three movies he will inevitably make over the course of next year."

Michael DaltonMovie Parliament:

"As somebody who is the film fan he is today in large part due to 'Hot Fuzz,' there is no film I am looking forward to more in 2013 than Edgar Wright's 'The World's End.' The final part of the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy, this film will reunite Wright and Pegg after their disparate ventures into Hollywood. Wright is three for three as far as I'm concerned and I can't wait to see his take on the disaster genre. This film follows two of the finest comedies ever made in my opinion ('Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz') and I am fully aware that this film may not reach those heights and will not carry the same memories and emotional resonance that I have attached to those two films. However, my expectations will remain cautiously high and while it may not be a masterpiece, I cannot foresee it being a disaster, even if it is at its core, a disaster film."

Erik DavisMovies.com:

"I'm going with the big guns. For me, it's a three-way tie between 'Man of Steel,' 'The Wolverine' and 'Pacific Rim.' Two of those are trying different (and potentially risky) approaches with established characters, and the other is a completely original blockbuster from a creative genius who you hope knocks it out of the park."

John DeCarliFilmCapsule:

"Without consulting a comprehensive list, I know I'm excited about Edgar Wright's third film with the 'Shaun of the Dead' team, 'The World's End.' Both 'Shaun' and 'Hot Fuzz' have grown in my estimation over time, so I'm confident this final installment will be a much-watched DVD when its day on home video comes."

Steve DollarWall Street Journal/GreenCine Daily:

"'Upstream Color' in a walk."

Billy DonnellyAin't It Cool News:

"There are a lot of worthwhile projects to keep an eye on in the coming year, be it the restart of Superman or the beginning of Phase Two of the Marvel Movie Universe, but the one that's got me most excited after just catching a glimpse of its potential is without a doubt 'Pacific Rim.' A big-budget summer kaiju blockbuster with Guillermo del Toro at the helm? Sign me up. This one is for fans by fans."

Edward DouglasComing Soon:

"'Pacific Rim.' Do you want a reason, too? Easy: director Guillermo del Toro -- his first movie in over four years -- plus giant monsters and giant robots. One of the easiest sells of 2013 in my opinion."

Alonso DuraldeTheWrap/What The Flick?!:

"If there's one auteur whose every new release fills me with enthusiastic anticipation, it's Pedro Almodóvar. So I gotta say 'I'm So Excited.' Throw in the fact that it's a comedy, and that teaser with the male flight attendants lip-synching the Pointer Sisters, and I'm totally on board, as it were."

Jessica ElgenstiernaThe Velvet Café:

"Living in Sweden, I'm looking forward to finally get the chance to see films such as 'The Master,' 'Lincoln,' 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Cloud Atlas,' which will open during the spring. But if we stick to what are considered official 2013 premieres, the movie I'm looking forward to most is Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight.' The whole idea of this project is beautiful and so far it's been so successful. I can't wait to see the end. It's like watching the end of a figure skating program that has been brilliant so far. Will he manage to pull off yet another difficult jump without falling, making it to a perfect triple? I hope he will."

Mario Alegre Femenías, Primera Hora:

"My most anticipated film of 2013 has to be 'Nymphomaniac.' Not only because it’s Lars von Trier, whose past films I’ve loved/admired, and I never really know what to expect from him, but because it’s Lars von Trier directing a film called 'NYM-PHO-MA-NI-AC.' But I’d like to give a special shout out to Alfonso Cuarón’s 'Gravity,' which was my most anticipated film of 2012, and Wong Kar Wai’s 'The Grandmasters,' which has been on my most anticipated lists for the past two years."

Sam FragosoDuke & The Movies:

"My most anticipated film of 2013 is surprisingly one I'll be seeing this January at the Sundance Film Festival: Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight,' his third entry into this series of two lovers who meet every eight years."

Kenji FujishimaThe House Next Door:

"Off the top of my head: Shane Carruth's 'Upstream Color.' But I'm not basing this on having seen the trailer or anything like that; I'm basing it solely on the fact that Carruth made such a brilliant first impression with his 2004 debut 'Primer' and he hasn't made any other features until this one. Plus: cool title."

Jason GorberTwitch/Filmfest.ca:

"The inclusion of any new Coen film into their canon is cause for celebration, but I'm particularly giddy at the thought of 'Inside Llewyn Davis.' Joel and Ethan have gone with Bruno Delbonnel instead of stalwart shooter Deakins, which might make for an interesting new look for them. The milieu of Greenwich folk scene is ripe for Coenian wit and flair, while their deft use of music is sure to lift my spirits even further."

William Goss, Film.com:

"'Gravity,' Alfonso Cuarón's long-awaited follow-up to 'Children of Men,' with Edgar Wright's 'The World's End' running a close second."

Tim Grierson, Deadspin/Screen International:

"I've already seen 'Simon Killer,' 'To the Wonder' and 'Spring Breakers,' so my pick is 'Twelve Years a Slave.' I'm dreading all the inevitable 'Django Unchained'/'What movie gets slavery more right?' comparison pieces that are sure to emerge when this film opens, but that cast is simply too good for words. (Seriously, I'm even excited about Taran Killam.) I admired Steve McQueen's first film, 'Hunger,' and thought 'Shame' was a huge step forward, but 'Twelve Years a Slave' feels like his first grand-canvas film, a real swing for the fences. I'm rooting for him."

Eric HavensDownright Creepy:

"No matter how many times I look over the 2013 release slate, I can't deny that my most anticipated movie is 'The World's End.' For my money, when Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost team up no one can create better genre-based satires that still somehow work as standalone genre films. They've done horror, they've done action, and now they do an apocalypse picture. That's why I have mentally bought my ticket and took my place in line waiting for this one."

Glenn Heath Jr.SanDiego.com/Slant Magazine/MATCH/CUTS:

"My most anticipated film of 2013 is Jim Jarmusch's 'Only Lovers Left Alive.' Starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as melancholy vampires who've been in and out of love for centuries, this latest whatsit from the director of 'Dead Man' and 'The Limits of Control' is sure to be just as strange and resonant as his other subversive efforts. This will undoubtedly be in competition at Cannes come May."

Jordan Hoffman, Film.com/ScreenCrush:

"No question, it is 'Inside Llewyn Davis.' Whatever the Coens are doing would probably be my most anticipated, as they are my favorite living filmmakers, but the fact that this one is set in the '60s folk scene of Greenwich Village makes it doubly so. You may not know it to look at me but there was a time when I was a bit of a folkie and this era held quite the mystique for me during my freewheelin' days. 'Inside Llewyn Davis' is said to be loosely based off of Dave Van Ronk's book 'The Mayor of MacDougal Street.' When I was a young man at NYU and just after, I was a borderline stalker of Dave Van Ronk. He was still performing in the clubs around Bleecker Street -- this was just before the Village Gate was turned into a CVS. He was a heavy smoker and between sets he'd go outside for a cigarette. I'm an asthmatic but the truth is that I would bum a cigarette off someone so I could go stand outside and schmooze with him. I have a distinct memory of huddling a foyer in the freezing cold of the long-closed Fast Folk Cafe, a closet-sized club on North Moore St. My then-girlfriend, another non-smoker, and I were choking to death on a clove cigarette, just so we could patter with Dave Van Ronk. For me, he was an ubiquitous figure. Then as now, I was frequently in the zone between the Angelika Film Center and the Film Forum and it was uncanny how many times I'd see the large-framed Dave Van Ronk shambling along. (Similarly, it was an even bet I'd see Allen Ginsberg if I were anywhere in the vicinity of the Village East Cinema. I include this primarily to make the younger readers and contributors feel intensely jealous. It's one of aging's few benefits.) I am not so egotistical to think that Dave had any idea who I was, but when I saw him I'd usually acknowledge him in some way and he was always warm and gregarious. It is *possible* that he recognized me - I mean, I was 22 and most of his fans were 55 or older, but I think he was just a friendly guy. Anyway, so, my favorite filmmakers are doing something kinda-sorta based on one of the heroes of my youth, a guy I actually talked to? Yeah, I'm excited for that."

Drew HuntChicago Reader/The Talking Pictures:

"I suppose I'll say Alain Resnais' 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet' because it was the first to spring to mind, but 2013 welcomes a bevy of titles I'm looking forward to: Jeff Nichols' 'Mud,' Steven Soderbergh's 'Side Effects,' Jon Chu's 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation,' Roland Emmerich's 'White House Down,' Edgar Wright's 'The World's End,' Im Sang-soo's 'The Taste of Money,' Matt Porterfield's 'I Used to Be Darker,' and Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight' among many, many others."

John Keefer51Deep.com:

"'To The Wonder.' This recent, comparatively, enormous output from Terrence Malick is akin to the recent Guided by Voices reunion in that I feel absolutely spoiled. I hope the movie has even less dialogue than is being described. In fact, I hope it's 90 minutes of a butterfly sitting on a leaf of an impossibly beautiful old oak tree. Affleck will spend the entirety of the film attempting to reach out and touch the leaf but will be unable to because of the crushing weight of the beauty that surrounds us."

Adam KempenaarFilmspotting:

"Very excited for Wright/Pegg/Frost's 'The World's End,' but my real answer is 'Whatever Movie the Coen Bros. are releasing in 2013.' It's called 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' you say? Sounds great. Don't care what it's about, don't care who stars in it -- though it doesn't hurt to have the 'Drive' duo of Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac together again."

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5 Comments

  • Robbie | January 1, 2013 2:05 PMReply

    I'm super excited for The Great Gatsby, like a lot of people, but my most anticipated movie is definitely Gangster Squad!

  • jingmei | January 1, 2013 7:52 AMReply

    Thanks for the awesome article, I just learn a lot.

  • Chris L. | December 31, 2012 10:34 PMReply

    A few that haven't been mentioned: "Nebraska" (Payne - in glorious B&W!), "Night Moves" (Reichardt), "Stoker" (Park Chan-wook), "Under the Skin" (Glazer), "Trance" (Boyle), "Foxcatcher" (B. Miller), "Mood Indigo" (Gondry), "A Most Wanted Man" (Corbijn), "Out of the Furnace" (S. Cooper). Side note: I'd love to hear why "Bernie" doesn't qualify as "real Linklater." Would the same be said about "School of Rock"? There's plenty of thoughtful subtext in both, not merely yuks.

  • Tanner K. | January 3, 2013 9:14 PM

    Also surprised by the lack of Nebraska attention. B &W Payne starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte?? Goodness.

  • Thomas Prieto | December 31, 2012 11:48 AMReply

    I'm most looking forward to Godard's "Goodbye to Language". I think his post-'67 work remains relatively unacknowledged by many American critics. When it is acknowledged, it's often unjustly maligned as just the work of a crazy old man who hates America though Godard continues to be one of the best living filmmakers. As mentioned by Mr. Sicinski, "Film Socialism", "In Praise of Love", and "Histoire(s) du cinema" are masterpieces. I can't wait to see what the master does with 3D.

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